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The Bird-Catcher

The Bird-Catcher

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The Bird-Catcher

76 pages
32 minutes
Nov 2, 2012


This beautiful collection of poems tells tales of blossoming springs and fruitful summers; in Honey Harvest Armstrong depicts Spring with the overweight apple blossom nodding on their branches and the sweet honey filling our shelves, and in Spanish Vintage we are almost able to taste the plump purple grapes of August as we follow their journey through the seasons, maturing in the dark bodegas ready to be sipped when the time is just right.

This nature-inspired collection of poems was first published in 1929.
Nov 2, 2012

Tentang penulis

Martin Donisthorpe Armstrong (October 2, 1882 - February 24, 1974) was an English writer and poet, known for his stories. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He served in World War I in the British Army in France - a Private in the Artists' Rifles, he was commissioned into the Middlesex Regiment in 1915 and promoted Lieutenant in 1916. He was included in the final Georgian Poetry anthology. He married in 1929 Canadian writer Jessie McDonald after she had divorced Conrad Aiken, making Armstrong the stepfather of the young Joan Aiken. He appears in disguised form as a character in Conrad Aiken's Ushant.

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The Bird-Catcher - Martin Armstrong



The Bird-Catcher

O you with the five-stopped pipe

And delicate, close-webbed net and eyes that have stared

Into worlds unknown, what poor wild bird have you snared,

What plover or lark or snipe?

I roved to the rim of the world,

To the borders of life and death, to the glimmering land

Where matter and spirit are one, and I closed my hand

On a marvellous prey in the mouth of the net upcurled:

For while with the breath of dream

I filled the pipe and fingered the stops with the touch of thought,

In a web of sweet and intricate tunes I caught

God, to be caged awhile among things that seem.

Honey Harvest

Late in March, when the days are growing longer

And sight of early green

Tells of the coming spring and suns grown stronger,

Round the pale Willow-catkins there are seen

The year’s first honey-bees

Stealing the nectar; and bee-masters know

This for the first sign of the honey-flow.

Then in the dark hillsides the Cherry-trees

Gleam white with loads of blossom where the gleams

Of piled snow lately hung, and richer streams

The honey. Now, if chilly April days

Delay the Apple-blossom and the May’s

First week comes in with sudden summer weather,

The Apple and the Hawthorn bloom together,

And all day long the plundering hordes go round

And every overweighted blossom nods.

But from that gathered essence they compound

Honey more sweet than nectar of the gods.

Those blossoms fall ere June, warm June that brings

The small white Clover. Field by scented field,

Round farms like islands in the rolling weald,

It spreads thick-flowering or in wildness springs

Short-stemmed upon the naked downs, to yield

A richer store of honey than the Rose,

The Pink, the Honeysuckle. Thence there flows

Syrup of clearest amber, redolent

Of every flowery scent

That the warm wind upgathers as he goes.

In mid-July be ready for the noise

Of million bees in old Lime-avenues,

As though hot noon had found a droning voice

To ease her soul. Here for those busy crews

Green leaves and pale-stemmed clusters of green flowers

Build heavy-perfumed, cool, green-twilight bowers

Whence, load by load, through the long summer days

They fill their glassy cells

With dark green honey, clear as chrysoprase,

Which housewives shun; but the bee-master tells

This brand is more delicious than all else.

In August-time, if moors are near at hand,

Be wise and in the evening twilight load

Your hives upon a cart, and take the road

By night; that, ere the early dawn shall spring

And all the hills turn rosy with the Ling,

Each waking hive may stand

Established in its new-appointed land

Without harm taken, and the earliest flights

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